Managing Employees - Comparing Relationship Advice Across the Board - Zupnick Associates

(by Jordan Johnson)

Managing employees and relationship advice from different areas of our lives gives HR management teams a broad range of important communication techniques. HR management can then use these techniques to remedy various situations at work, including difficult employees.

Dealing with difficult employees is an unfortunate but necessary burden of the human resource team and can often be challenging, but the relationship advice from parenthood and other relationships could improve our HR skills to help manage employees.

Employee management advice

The various members of an organization often don’t know themselves on a personal level, so it’s important to talk about behavior, not the person. As someone in charge of conflict resolution, it isn’t your job to critique someone’s personality, only how they behave and perform

Have a conversation

Speak about the problem in a non-confrontational tone and document feedback. HR managers can analyze feedback against organizational policy to ensure upper management is not violating labor rights.

Give direction and make a plan

After listening to feedback and having a conversation with the employee, if you still feel the need to take action, come up with a mutually beneficial plan to get the employee back on track. Continue to document behavior and monitor progress.

Marriage and spousal relationship advice

When trying to solve relationship problems with a partner or spouse, things tend to be a little more personal and can be less formal, but experts recommend keeping some things in mind for the best chance of success. 

“Make an actual appointment with each other” – Elaine Shimberg

Find a time when you are both able to be fully present in the conversation and actually stick to that time as if it were a formal appointment. Nobody wants to feel as though their time is less valuable than someone else’s.

Body Language is crucial

Use body language to communicate better. Albert Mehrabian famously came up with the 55/38/7 formula, which suggests that a whopping 55% of conversation is non-verbal, which is why body language is so important. 

Additionally, Allan and Barbara Pease, after analyzing thousands of sales, suggest in their book “The Definitive Book of Body Language” that the majority of impact in a business negotiation comes from body language

Positive, energetic, non-patronizing body language is an excellent tool to show that you are interested in getting the most out of the conversation.

Parenting Advice

Even though you don’t want to treat adults like children, setting boundaries and expectations as we do with our children is important in the workplace too.

Boundaries help employees and employers feel more comfortable in the workplace. Just like well-written standard operating procedures can help us stay on the right track, boundaries keep us in the lanes of what is expected of both employees and employers.

“A river without banks is just a puddle” – Ken Blanchard.

Consider setting boundaries and expectations such as:

  • Being clear with responsibilities. For example, who does this person report to, who provides them feedback, and who decides what they are working on.
  • Remind them of what is expected in the workplace. Nobody wants to work alongside someone with a poor attitude to other people or the job. If your organization has specific policies, such as no politics in the office, then enforce that.
  • Personal boundaries are important too. Employees should be allowed to switch off when not on the clock. Consider enforcing rules like taking paid vacations, limiting access to work devices when away from the office, and screen-time breaks in the office.

Utilizing the advice from other relationships

So when blending the three types of relationship management, we can see that each one offers benefits to the workplace.

Setting boundaries and expectations like parents help prevent a situation from arising in the first place and provides HR management a point of reference when mediating between upper management and the workforce. 

Romantic relationships teach us that conflict resolution requires us to be in the moment, be considerate, and use body language to communicate. We also must remember to stick to appointments.

Finally, business training and mediation instruct us to identify the route of the problem, be open to conversation and feedback, and then strategize a plan that directs us towards a resolution.

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